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Novak Flips Again

Novak2 Novak1
Jeez, Bob, pick a side and stick with it…

I was going to write a longer Plame post for this slot, but it’s been overtaken by breaking events, courtesy of Robert "Rocket from the Crypt" Novak’s response to Richard Armitage’s public mea culpa, printed today in the Chicago Sun-Times:

When Richard Armitage finally acknowledged last week he was my source three years ago in revealing Valerie Plame Wilson as a CIA employee, the former deputy secretary of state’s interviews obscured what he really did. I want to set the record straight based on firsthand knowledge.

First, Armitage did not, as he now indicates, merely pass on something he had heard and that he ‘‘thought’’ might be so. Rather, he identified to me the CIA division where Mrs. Wilson worked, and said flatly that she recommended the mission to Niger by her husband, former Amb. Joseph Wilson.

Second, Armitage did not slip me this information as idle chitchat, as he now suggests. He made clear he considered it especially suited for my column.

Uhhh, but Bob, whatever happened to your spin about how "it was an offhand revelation"?  Did Scooter Libby’s lawyers your conscience pay you a little visit or something?

There’s not much point in me breaking down the BS in much detail, since inaugural FDL Books author M. T. Wheeler has already given Novakula’s latest a quick, but precise autopsy at The Next Hurrah (providing a sharp demonstration of why you should toss a few drachmas into the Donation Drive on the right sidebar), with the help of her ace Plameologist commenters.  See in particular Jeff’s quotations from Hubris, the new book by Michael Isikoff and David Corn, which Count Bob is apparently attempting to rebut.

I’ll also add that the business about mentioning the Counterproliferation Division is why I’ve thought former White House spokesliar Ari Fleischer might be Novak’s hidden source, since the Libby indictment not-very-subtly notes that Scooter told this information to Ari over lunch on July 7th, the day before Novak and Armitage talked.  Is Novakula’s revised story intended to keep people from asking awkward questions about a source other than Armitage (whether it’s Fleischer or someone else)?  Throw in your speculation in the comments below.

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Swopa has been sharing prescient, if somewhat anal-retentive, analysis and garden-variety mockery with Internet readers since 1995 or so, when he began debunking the fantasies of Clinton-scandal aficionados on Usenet. He is currently esconced as the primary poster at Needlenose (